UDV DRL – Daytime Running Lights for Cars

Starting 02-07-2011, newly licensed vehicles have to have daytime running lights equipped. Some people support this step because of studies that promise a significant reduce in the number of accidents (up to 25% ), while others fear for the safety of weaker traffic participants, especially motor cyclists.

On behalf of the UDV (German Insurers Accident Research), one of the most important sponsors of road safety research, HFC tested the security measure “Daytime running lights” regarding safety issues and negative effects in collaboration with the Chair of Lighting Technology (University of Technology, Berlin ).

tfl_1The project was designed as an ex ante analysis of the traffic safety measure “Daytime running lights”; that means the suspected or feared negative effect of it were to be tested in a series of experiments in the field, in the laboratory and the simulator.

The Questions raised were referring to:

  • Advantages and disadvantages for car drivers and more vulnerable traffic participants
  • Testing for sustainability of the effect
  • Directly testing traffic junctions with a high rate of accidences
  • Comparison Daytime running lights vs. dimmed headlights
  • Controlling and checking for other influencing variables



  • Driving study with 50 test persons in Germany and Denmark  ( Daytime running lights obligation ) with analysis of gazes on more than 2500 traffic participant
  • Laboratory-based study in the light-testing facility of the University of Technology Berlin
  • Simulator study in cooperation with the traffic psychology of the University of Technology Dresden


  • Platho, C., Kolrep, H., Böhm, M., Köth, K., Völker, S. & Kühn, M. (2011). Do low beam headlights as DRL influence gaze behavior and draw off attention from vulnerable road users? In: Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Automotive Lighting. München: Utz. 906-918.
  • Platho, C., Kolrep, H., Rössger, L., & Kühn, M. (2011). Nutzen und Risiken von Tagfahrlicht für Pkw-Fahrer und schwächere Verkehrsteilnehmer. Zeitschrift für Verkehrssicherheit, 57 (4), S. 171-175.



  • Literature Analysis
  • Driving Experiments
  • Laboratory Experiments
  • Driving Simulator
  • Eye-Tracking Analysis
  • Statistics